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Lunchbreak: ESPN Highlights Vikings 'Top Under-the-Radar Move'

The Vikings have made multiple moves in free agency thus far, including the additions of Byron Murphy, Dean Lowry and Marcus Davenport, among others.

But what about some of the less-flashy transactions that could still have a big impact?

The Vikings landed at No. 11 in ESPN’s latest power rankings, and Kevin Seifert opined the team's "top under-the-radar move" so far this spring: re-signing Alexander Mattison. Seifert wrote:

Mattison had a career-low 89 touches behind Dalvin Cook in 2022 and seemed primed to find a new opportunity elsewhere. The Vikings decision to pay Mattison not only shows their confidence in him but also indicates a changing of the guard over the next two seasons.

Seifert believes Mattison will have a "major role" in the Vikings offense for Minnesota in 2023.

View the best photos of Vikings RB Alexander Mattison from the 2022 season.

It's also interesting to note what under-the-radar moves ESPN highlighted around the NFC North.

The Lions have been busy this offseason, and they were slated at No. 9 in the rankings. Eric Woodyard said Detroit's top quiet move is retaining Offensive Coordinator Ben Johnson.

After Johnson led one of the NFL's most dynamic offenses, many believed he would be jetting out of Detroit. However, despite interviewing – and being a top candidate – for multiple head-coaching vacancies, the 36-year-old decided to stay in Detroit. The Lions offense ranked fifth in the league in points scored with 26.6 per game, and Johnson's creative play-calling, coupled with his tight-knit relationship with quarterback Jared Goff, was a big reason behind that.

The Packers and Bears were ranked at 20th and 27th, respectively.

ESPN's Packers reporter Rob Demovsky said the team's top under-the-radar move was restructuring Aaron Jones' contract. And for the Bears, Courtney Cronin spotlighted the signing of running back D'Onta Foreman after the departure of David Montgomery to the Lions.

Foreman became the lead back in Carolina after Christian McCaffrey was traded and finished with a career-best 203 carries for 914 yards and five touchdowns. The 26-year-old played every game for the first time in his five-year career and had at least 21 rushes in five outings. When healthy, Foreman can be a three-down running back and one of the most efficient rushers in the league. According to NFL Next Gen Stats data, he gained more rushing yards than expected on 49 [percent] of his carries in 2022, the second-highest rate among running backs (minimum 100 carries).

View photos of the Vikings 2023 coaching staff.

Hockenson part of NFLPA Classic championship team

What can't T.J. Hockenson do?

The Vikings tight end was part of the winning team at the recent inaugural NFL Players Association Classic in The Bahamas.

"Team Miller" was made up of Bills outside linebacker Von Miller, Hockenson, Broncos punter Riley Dixon and Broncos kicker Brandon McManus.

Former NFL center JC Tretter currently serves as the NFLPA President and celebrated the success of the event.

Vikings linebacker Jordan Hicks also competed in the scramble, joining free agent quarterback Carson Wentz, free agent running back Rex Burkhead and Commanders receiver Alex Erickson.

Vikings safety Harrison Smith joined a squad captained by former teammate Case Keenum, along with Gabe Davis and Dawson Knox.

Former Vikings linebacker Eric Kendricks teamed with Brett Kern, Matthew Judon and Morgan Cox.